SF Giants: Veteran starter poised to get one more opportunity

SF Giants, Scott Kazmir

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – MAY 22: Scott Kazmir #16 of the San Francisco Giants pitches against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the first inning at Oracle Park on May 22, 2021 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

It has been a whirlwind of a season for veteran starter Scott Kazmir. After all, he signed with the SF Giants on a minor league pact before the season began and appeared on a major league mound for the first time in five years. Plus, he earned a silver medal with Team USA in the Olympics held in Tokyo, Japan earlier this summer.

SF Giants: Veteran starter poised to get one more opportunity

The left-handed hurler returned to the Giants organization after the conclusion of the Olympics and it looks like he might get one more shot to pitch with the major league club. Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Kazmir is a legitimate option to pitch for the Giants this week.

Kazmir received a promotion earlier in the season, allowing five earned runs in three appearances. However, he has been better in Triple-A, recording a 4.87 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 8/2 K/9, and a 2.06 SO/W ratio in 40.2 frames with the Sacramento River Cats. It bears mentioning that Triple-A West is a hitter-friendly league, so those numbers look pretty strong when factoring in that context.

That said, the fact that the 37-year-old is a candidate to pitch for a team that is trying to maintain its one-game lead against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League West shows how thin that the Giants are on pitching.  There are few better options in Triple-A than Kazmir at the moment.

At this point, the Giants have nearly run out of starting pitching options. Kevin Gausman, Anthony DeSclafani, and Logan Webb have anchored the rotation. However, Alex Wood (COVID IL) and Johnny Cueto (elbow) remain on the shelf while Sammy Long was optioned to Triple-A as he continues to struggle in his rookie season.

After placing Aaron Sanchez on waivers in August, the Giants have found themselves in an unusually uncomfortable position with the organization’s starting pitching depth. Despite this, they continue to find a way to win whether it is behind a strong start from Webb or a bullpen game where all the right strings have to be pulled.

This is all to say that Scott Kazmir is one of the better options still within the organization. The 13-year veteran has made an unlikely comeback while performing well enough in a tough league to be in consideration for one more shot. Perhaps, he did not envision his return to baseball to include a playoff run but he might be returning to September baseball soon enough.